Luciano Acosta enters the record books but is most proud of his work building history with FC Cincinnati

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When Luciano Acosta came to FC Cincinnati, he was promised very little in terms of expectations. After two years with Liga MX side Atlas, where he scored just three goals in 33 appearances, Acosta's move back to MLS saw him join a Cincinnati side in turmoil. 

While in hindsight, we know significant change was just around the corner – leading to great club success and its first ever trophy – Acosta was the first to help build the foundation of that future success. He was handed the armband as captain before his first game with the club, has now played 98 MLS games with The Orange and Blue, scored 36 goals and 45 assists in league play, made the playoffs for the first time in club history, lifted the Supporters Shield and was named MVP. 

Saturday night against New York City FC was another milestone to put in his cap. With his 54th-minute goal, another in a collection of golazos the Argentine seems to pull out of thin air, Acosta registered his 60th goal to add to his already reached 80 assists. By achieving both milestones, Acosta became the seventh ever in MLS and the fourth fastest to hit those plateaus. 

Joining players like Landon Donovan, Jamie Moreno, Diego Valeri, and Preki, Acosta has placed himself in the collection of greats, prompting the question of where the 2023 MLS MVP sits in the league's history. Many suggest that you're judged by the company you keep, and for FCC head coach Pat Noonan, the company Acosta keeps makes him one of the best.

"The guys on that list (60 goals and 80 assists) are some of the best that this league has ever seen, and I think Lucho is rightfully in that group of the best that have ever played in our league," Noonan said of his captain. "I think he's a really good player that continues to improve in his career. And for our particular group, when we need him to step up, like tonight, he just finds a way to impact the game. Whether it's with a goal or an assist to lead us to a victory. That just speaks to the consistency that he's had to reach those numbers." 

In the locker room, though, while the history-making milestone was appreciated, Acosta preferred to highlight his impact on the club rather than individual achievements. 

"Somebody showed me (the list), and I said, 'Woah, that's very surprising.' But I am very happy to be on this list… it's an honor for me. I am very happy to create history for this club." Acosta. "When I got here, I said I wanted to build history with this club… now we've built the foundation.

"Every game I really feel the responsibility, but regardless, the other club always comes to play and they play strong but I am just happy I get to play for this club and get these results."

As captain, Acosta sets the tone for the locker room and establishes the goals for the season. Since winning the 2023 MLS MVP, he's been very clear that he intends to win it again, and performances like Saturdays put him in that conversation again. But as a team, he continues to push for more, a sentiment that others echo. Any high water mark established last season is now the barometer. 

FCC finished the weekend at the top of the MLS table, which is a familiar feeling for The Orange and Blue after last season's Supporters Shield title. But as the season wears on and individual accolades stack up, Acosta has made sure it's clear that club success will always be more top of mind than individual accolades…but those individual things are pretty cool, too.